Termites feed mostly on wood, but will also feed on insulation, pool liners, books, paper and filtration systems. Every year in the U.S., these pests cause billions of dollars in termite damage. They’ll also go after living plants, but prefer woody plants that are not healthy.
What does termite damage look like? How would you know if you have a termite problem? You might see termites around windows and doors since they are attracted to light. You could see mud tubes on support piers, foundation walls, floor joists and sill plates. These tubes are generally about the diameter of a pencil and are used for shelter. If you break open the tubes and see the creamy white worker termites, you have an active infestation. Even if a tube is empty, the termites could be working elsewhere, so it’s still a good idea to treat.
Termite damage wood is eaten out along the grain. You might see bits of soil or dried mud where these pests feed. If you see sunken traces behind a wall, that could be a sign of termites. You might also see termite damage drywall issues or even termite damage pictures.
Termite damage repair cost varies depending on how bad the infestation is. Each year in the U.S., termites cause over $5 billion in damage. Since most homeowner policies don’t cover termite damage, it’s up to you to check for signs of termites and to spray regularly. If you don’t want to or can’t check for damage yourself, Clint Miller Exterminating will come out to check for damage.
If you do notice termites, you need to spray for them immediately. If they are left alone too long, they could cause structural damage to your home. The ceiling joists, floor joists, support beams and wall studs are all susceptible to termite damage. Once these supports are damaged, your home won’t be safe to live in – you would have to move out until the damage is repaired.
To repair termite damage, you need to remove the damaged pieces of wood and insulation and replace it with new wood. In some cases, you could attach new wood to the damaged wood to strengthen it. Before you start making repairs, you need to make sure all the termites are dead, else they’ll just damage the new wood. Tenting a home is the best way to kill an entire infestation.
Once termites get into your home, don’t expect them to go away if you ignore them. The termite problem just gets worse. Some develop new colonies while worker and soldier termites protect the colony. Because termites can do so much damage in an hour, it’s best to eradicate them as soon as possible.
In addition to spraying, you can help keep termites at bay by removing any plant material that is close to the house. Those decorative shrubs are like superhighways for termites to get into your home. If you see termites in the yard, and they are close to your home, you should spray them. Remove stumps that may harbor termite colonies.
If you notice signs of termites in your home, contact Clint Miller Exterminating. If you are not able to check for termites or are not sure what to look for, contact us for an appointment. We will check and spray for these and other pests.